Records & Archives is a program of the Board of Governors of Exhibition Place (an agency of the City of Toronto). Originally founded in 1964, Records & Archives acquires and preserves the records of the Board of Governors of Exhibition, as well as the records of the Canadian National Exhibition, the Canadian International Air Show, and the Warriors’ Day Parade Council.
Apart from official records (textual, photographic, film, audio recordings, printed material) produced by the above mentioned bodies, Records & Archives also acquires and preserves private papers and artefacts that serve to illustrate the history of Exhibition Place and events that have taken place on the grounds. Material held by Records & Archives date from the founding of the CNE in 1879 to the present.
Records & Archives is open by appointment only between Monday and Friday from 8:30 am until 4 pm. To make an appointment, or for general inquiries, please call 416-263-3658, or email Lcobon@explace.on.ca.
Records & Archives is located in the General Services Building, 100 Princes' Boulevard, Suite 1. For those arriving by TTC, there is a stop for the 511 and 509 streetcars directly in front of the General Services Building. If arriving by car, there is visitors’ parking available at the General Services Building. Please remember to call ahead and book an appointment before visiting.
Extent: c. 1000 cubic feet, Outside Dates: 1879-present
The textual holdings of Records & Archives includes all records created by the Board of Governors of Exhibition Place, the Canadian National Exhibition Association (CNEA), the Canadian International Air Show (CIAS) and the Warriors' Day Parade Council (WDPC). The archival records are those that possess long-term administrative, fiscal or legal value.
Also housed as part of the Records Management Program, is another 3000 cubic feet of inactive business records.
Types of archival textual records held by Records & Archives include minutes of meetings of the Board of Governors of Exhibition Place; the Board of Directors of the CNEA; the WDPC; and of various committees formed by the Board of Governors of Exhibition Place and the CNEA.
Other records in this category include: Annual Reports, Programmes, Prize Lists, special brochures, Art Gallery Catalogues, and (CIAS) Programs.
Corporate records from various Exhibition Place/CNE departments include: Office of the Chief General Manager (1929-1987), CNE Agricultural Department (1934-1982), CNE Women's Department (1920-1980), Exhibition Place Works Department (1879-1987), Exhibition Stadium Corporation (1946-1987), Exhibition Place General Manager of Administration & Corporate Secretary (1919-1987) and the CNE Sports Department (1879-1981).
Collections of records acquired from members of the public include the papers of Peg Willins-Hughes, wife of long-time CNE General Manager, Elwood Hughes.
Extent: c. 600 items, Outside Dates: 1879-Present
Since its founding in 1879, the CNE has awarded medallions, usually made of gold, silver or bronze, to winners of various agricultural, musical, artistic, sporting or other competitions. Visiting dignitaries, special guests and the official "opener" of the CNE each year, usually a Canadian or international figure of some prominence, were also presented with medallions.
Extent: c. 250,000 items, Outside Dates: 1890s-1993
The bulk of the photograph collection is made up of black-and-white prints and negatives that document the history, development and growth of Exhibition Place and the CNE.
Extent: c. 5000 slides, Outside Dates: c. 1950s-1986
The slide collection is comprised primarily of images donated to Records & Archives by members of the public and through internal transfers. The slide collection also includes duplicate images drawn from the Photo and Postcard Collections as well as from CNE Programme and Prize List covers. The slides are an invaluable resource for researchers and staff.
Extent: c. 700 items, Outside Dates: c. early 1900s-1989
The postcard collection contains some of the most colourful and significant views of Exhibition Place and the CNE.
Extent: 40 posters and preliminary designs, Outside Dates: c. 1889-1996
Included here are official CNE posters created each year by commissioned artists. Among the artists whose work has been featured on CNE posters are J.E.H. MacDonald, Eric Aldwinkle & Franklin Carmichael.
Extent: 353 reels of film, Outside Dates: c. 1920s-1997
The Records & Archives moving-image collection contains old footage of the grounds and events, feature films on the CNE, television ads and other miscellaneous films related to the CNE. Most films are 16mm, but many have been digitized for use by researchers and staff.
Extent: 450 tapes, Outside Dates: c. 1928-1994
The audio tapes are primarily of Grandstand stage shows, addresses and speeches given by CNE officials, or by dignitaries participating at the CNE. Many of the Grandstand stage show tapes have been digitized for use by researchers and staff.
Extent: c. 500 items, Outside Dates: 1904-1987
Records & Archives holds the original architectural plans for many buildings no longer in existence as well as plans for the construction and renovation/alteration of existing buildings.
Extent: c. 50 sheets of music, Outside Dates: 1883-1965
This collection includes sheet music used in CNE Grandstand performances of the 1880s to the 1960s and sheet music used by the Exhibition Chorus, 1920-1930.
Works of Art
Extent: 81 items, Outside Dates: c. 1891-2007
This collection includes works of art, such as paintings and sculptures which are owned by the Board of Governors of Exhibition Place and the CNEA, and administered by Records & Archives.
Extent: c. 500 items, Outside Dates: c. 1880s-2012
The collection of artifacts includes a wide range of objects such as trophies, medals, prize ribbons, banners, souvenirs, coins, midway games etc.
Extent: c. 200 books and periodicals, Dates: 1856-2012
The library contains books and periodicals dealing primarily with art, history and archival science. The resources in the Library are used for general reference and/or in conjunction with studying and understanding original corporate records.
Use of Archival Materials
Coats, briefcases and bags must be left with Records & Archives staff for the duration of each visit. No smoking, eating or drinking is permitted in the Reading Room.
Staff will retrieve all material for the researcher. Researchers must handle all records carefully and must not mark, tear, fold, or otherwise damage the records in any way. Any damage found in material issued should be reported to staff immediately. Cotton gloves are also available for use when handling photographs or fragile records identified by staff.
Use only one file at a time to avoid misplacing or re-arranging the order of archival material.
Only pencils are allowed for use in the Reading Room. Pens, felt-tip markers, highlighters, and correction fluid contain substances that can cause damage to records.
Researchers must return materials to staff once they have finished using them (do not refile material).
No research material is to leave the Reading Room except with the permission of Records & Archives staff.
Access to some material held by Records & Archives is restricted due to donor request, conservation considerations or the Freedom of Information and Protection of Personal Privacy Act (FOI). The Archives staff will inform researchers of any restrictions. Access to some unprocessed records may be restricted (see Copyright and Other Restrictions).
Reproductions and Copyright Restrictions
Photocopying will be carried out by Records & Archives staff. Do not fold or mark pages to be copied. Staff will provide acid-free page markers for the use of researchers. Copyright restrictions may apply (see Copyright and Other Restrictions and Fee Schedule).
Photographic reproductions will be arranged by Records & Archives staff. The researcher is responsible for the cost of any reproduction. Copyright restrictions may apply (see Copyright, Other Restrictions, and Fee Schedule for details). Restricted material cannot normally be reproduced.
Research Privileges Revoked
Researchers who fail to comply with the above regulations may be asked to leave the premises and may have their research privileges revoked.
Be sure to do as much research as possible on your topic through secondary sources (books and journals) before contacting Records & Archives. Know your subject well or as well as possible.
Before you telephone, write or email Records & Archives, define your needs as clearly as possible: what information are you looking for, time period, what format or type of record you are looking for (e.g. only photos), how extensive do you expect your research project to be (personal interest, thesis), deadlines, if any.
Make an appointment to visit Records & Archives or make arrangements to have staff provide you with the information sought.
Researchers are welcomed to use finding aids available in Records & Archives at no charge. Staff will assist researchers for up to thirty (30) minutes in identifying relevant records. At no charge, staff will undertake thirty (30) minutes of research in responding to requests received by mail, email, fax or telephone.
Beyond the first half-hour, staff will conduct expert searches based on their knowledge of the records and electronic finding aids for a fee. Upon request, Records & Archives staff will also provide researchers with the names of professional researchers who, for a fee, will assist in more extensive searches.
Letter, legal and ledger size = $0.20 per page
Large format (maps and plans) = Cost per square foot determined by Capital Works Department, Exhibition Place.
Photo reproductions are carried out by independent photo labs or photo conservators. Copies of price lists are available upon request.
Records & Archives does not charge an additional fee for reproduction of photographs made for research purposes. However, copies made for the purpose of publication are subject to a fee of $25.00 per image. Researchers must also obtain the permission of the Manager, Records & Archives, prior to publication.
In instances where an inter-negative must be created from a print before a reproduction can be made, the researcher is responsible for the cost of the inter-negative. The inter-negative remains the property of Records & Archives.
Researchers assume all responsibility for determining ownership of copyright prior to the use of archival records for commercial purposes. Records & Archives' staff can provide guidance in this area, but the Board of Governors of Exhibition Place and the Canadian National Exhibition Association will not assume any liability associated with the use of these records.
Scanning services are carried out by Records & Archives staff. The cost to scan 1 image is $5.00. A fee of $20.00 per CD will be charged to have scanned images burned onto a CD.
Scanned copies made for the purpose of publication are subject to a fee of $25.00 per image. Researchers must obtain the permission of the Manager, Records & Archives, prior to publication.
Researchers are welcome to use finding aids available in Records & Archives to identify records relevant to their inquiries. At no charge, staff will assist researchers for up to thirty (30) minutes in identifying relevant records.
At no charge, staff will also undertake thirty (30) minutes of research in responding to requests received by mail, email or telephone.
Beyond the first half-hour, Records & Archives staff will conduct expert searches based on their knowledge of the records and electronic finding aids for a fee of $60.00 per hour (with a minimum charge of $15.00).
Upon request, staff will also provide researchers with the names of professionals who, for a fee, will assist in more extensive searchers or undertake original research. Such professionals work independently and are not staff members of Records & Archives. All arrangements, including fees, are between the person making the inquiry and the professional researcher.
Postage and Handling Fees
|Cost of reproduction services:||Postage and Handling Fee:|
|$5 - $50.00||$5.00|
|$50.00 – $100.00||$6.00|
Requests for courier service will be at the expense of the customer. The customer must make all courier arrangements.
Payment may be made in cash, by personal cheque or money order (made payable to the Board of Governors of Exhibition Place), or by Visa or MasterCard.
Customers will be called or notified by mail when their copies are ready. Orders being picked up must be paid for in full at time of pickup. Payments processed by credit card and subsequently declined by the cardholder will be invoiced to the customer.
Orders to be mailed or sent by courier must be prepaid. An invoice will be mailed upon completion of reprographic services and the order mailed to the customer upon receipt of payment in full.
Invoices are due upon receipt. A second notice will be sent out 30 days after invoice date if still unpaid. The account will be placed in collection if payment is not received 30 days after second notice has been issued.
Questions regarding the fee schedule should be directed to:
Manager, Records & Archives
100 Princes' Blvd., Suite 1
Please note that this fee schedule does not apply to services carried out as part of an access request made under the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act. Fees charged in processing an access request are set by provincial legislation. A copy of the fee schedule pertaining to requests made under the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act is available on request.
Any use of a copy for a purpose other than research or private study may require the authorization of the copyright owner of the work in question. Responsibility regarding questions of copyright that may arise in the use of a copy is assumed by the recipient.
Upon request, Records & Archives will endeavor to provide recipients with the copyright status of material in its holdings as well as the name of the person or organization holding copyright, when this information is known.
Access to some material held by Records & Archives is restricted due to donor request. In some cases, restrictions can be waived with donor agreement. The researcher is responsible for drafting a letter to the donor (or the heir of the donor's estate) explaining why access to restricted material is being sought. Records & Archives will act as liaison in this process.
Conservation considerations may result in restricted access to archival documents. For instance, some early documents are too fragile to handle and some types of film cannot be viewed on a projector without causing damage.
Restrictions on unprocessed records
Access to some unprocessed records may be restricted until a proper inventory can be completed and physical and intellectual control established over the records.
Municipal Freedom of Information & Protection of Privacy Act
Staff will inform researchers of any restrictions pertaining to the Municipal Freedom of Information & Protection of Privacy Act.